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September 9 2012

11:40 PM

Poor stretch costly for Tiger

Watch: Tiger's birdie at the 14th

In the final round of the BMW Championship, Tiger Woods hits his 215-yard second shot to 13 feet on the par-4 14th and makes the birdie putt.

By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

CARMEL, Ind. -- As he looks back on it, Tiger Woods knows where he lost the BMW Championship.

It came in the opening eight holes of Saturday's third round, when he suffered four bogeys and started out 3 over. As it turns out, those three shots were the difference between his score of 17 under and Rory McIlroy's winning score of 20 under.

"That little stretch sometimes takes you out of a tournament, especially in a shootout like this," Woods said. "Going 3 over through eight yesterday, that's not very good out here -- especially when most of the guys were 3 under through eight out here."

In Sunday's final round, Woods shot a 68, playing his last 11 holes in a bogey-free 4 under. But with a slow start, he could never climb into serious contention or put significant pressure on the leaders.

The fact the he could only par each of the par-5 holes on Sunday -- he was 9 under on those holes through the first three rounds – made his chase much more difficult.

"As I said yesterday, it was going to take about a 63 or 64 today to give myself a chance, and that was the number," Woods said. "... It could be done because the greens were so soft. If you take care of the par 5s, throw in a couple more, all of a sudden you have your number."

Woods does have a number that will be significant when he tees off with McIlroy in the first round of the TOUR Championship by Cola-Cola. The number is 2 -- Woods' FedExCup ranking going into East Lake.

Since he's inside the top five in points, Woods will control his own destiny. Should he win the TOUR Championship, he'll also be guaranteed his third FedExCup title.

He knows McIlroy is at the top of his game right now and No. 1 in points, but as Woods pointed out Sunday, "We've got one more tournament."

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